Top 5 Exercises for Diabetes
Exercise is essential to everyday diabetes management. But, how do you get started? And what kinds of exercises are the most effective?
In the long run, you’ll want to aim for 150 minutes of exercise a week. That’s about 20 minutes a day. But, start slowly and build up to that.
As for efficiency — here are 5 great ways just about anyone can get moving.
You don’t need a gym membership to get active.
Fighting diabetes with exercise is as simple as walking. And, it’s easy to get started. All you need is a supportive pair of shoes.
Start by taking your dog for a stroll or walking to your local library instead of driving. Once it’s a habit, you may find yourself wanting to walk for fun.
The fresh air and movement not only lowers stress levels, but also helps you lower your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.1
Whether you use a regular bike or a stationary one, cycling is great exercise.
Nearly half of people with type 2 diabetes have arthritis.2 Which makes low-impact exercises important. Cycling is a great way to get the benefits of exercise without straining your joints.
It isn’t just good for your joints, though. It helps you maintain weight, lower your blood sugar, and lower your risk of high blood pressure.
Swimming is another low-impact, aerobic exercise. Plus, aside from access to a pool, there isn’t much other equipment needed.
Not only is swimming fun, it’s easy on your joints, too. And, it helps your heart health — lowering blood pressure and strengthening your heart muscle.
Swimming also helps you control blood sugar. During exercise, muscle cells absorb glucose more efficiently. Which means it’s removed quickly from the bloodstream.3
But, beware of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Exercise fatigue can mimic low blood sugar symptoms. So, be sure to monitor your levels throughout your routine.
Yoga comes in a variety of styles. And each has its own advantages.
To get your heart pumping, try power yoga. This is the most common style. The increased activity aids in managing blood sugar, lowering cholesterol levels, and losing weight.1 Yoga also helps with managing blood pressure, sleep quality, and improving overall mood.
If you’re looking for yoga at a slower pace, gentle yoga is a good option, too.
Weightlifting or anaerobic exercise is all about building muscle mass.
There are numerous ways you can lift weights. From machines and free weights to heavy household items, any extra weight helps. Consider joining a resistance training group or class to learn proper techniques.
According to the ADA, strength training improves your blood sugar control. Other health benefits include improvements in strength, physical function, mental health, insulin sensitivity, and heart health.4